Sunday, August 7, 2011

El fin de semana

Jueves el 4 de agosto – día18
Thursday I got up and had frosted flakes and tea for breakfast before heading out to IFSA.  I had to attend a different taller de gramática than my scheduled one because I had a class at USAL.  We talked some more about basic grammar, and did some little exercises.  

After our taller Melissa and I walked to USAL for the class “Literatura Argentina.”  We got there early so we sat in the student lounge and ate lunch (I brought a sandwich and an apple from home).  We went to class (this class is specifically for extranjeros) and eventually other students started to arrive.  There were people from all over!  When the professor arrived we all introduced ourselves and said where we were from, what languages we spoke, and what we study.  The classroom was full to the brim, and students were still coming in so we switched rooms and the professor stared to teach.  He gave us an overview of what the class was about and then gave us some historical context for our first reading assignment.  The class seems really interesting, so I might end up taking it (if I can get it approved for a humanities credit by Gettysburg).   After class I went with some other IFSA kids to the fotocopiadora to pick up el programa de la clase and a short reading.  In Argentina often times professors will leave class materials, including readings, at a photo-copy shop and students have to go pick them up.  This is often the case with books as well (which I’m sure is completely illegal, but it saves me money so I’ll go along with it).  Luckily for me a lot of the books we’ll be reading for this class I already have because some of Clarisa’s past students left books here.  

I took the subte home and got started on my reading assignment, which I actually enjoyed quite a bit.  I got a shower and then Clarisa called me down for dinner.  She told me we were having pasta again because she was planning on having ravioli, but it was moldy (I don’t think she considers ravioli pasta, even though I’m pretty sure it is).  So we had fettuccine noodles (which she called spaghetti) and tomato sauce.  For dessert I had a mandarina.  After dinner I read a little more and then went to bed.

Viernes el 5 de agosto
Friday I didn’t have any classes so I got up and made myself some cereal and tea for breakfast.  I dropped my laundry off to be washed (instead of Laundromats they have a place you drop off your clothes and then pick them up a few hours later, all folded and smelling fresh and clean).  I took un colectivo a Avenida Santa Fe so I could get money out of the ATM and then charge my monedero (card to ride the subtes y colectivos).  I decided to walk back instead of taking un colectivo because it was really nice and I wanted to window shop.  I also needed to buy a new pair of sunglasses as mine were snapped in half in my bag from being smashed like a sardine in the subte.  I eventually found a pair of fake Ray Bans for $20 pesos ($5) that were almost identical to my old sun glasses so I bought them.

When I got home I made myself a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich and then worked on some homework.  Around 5PM I called Julie and we went to go get coffee at a café a few blocks from my house.  I got a café con leche y una medialuna then I went home and worked some more on my reading assignment.
I had dinner with Clarisa around 9:30PM.  She made a really good stew that made the whole house smell amazing.  It was fish, potatoes, carrots, zuchinni, and onion with some spices.  After dinner Clarisa went out for coffee with a friend, so I was home alone.  I watched some TV and then went to bed.

Sabado el 6 de agosto
Saturday I got up and made myself a delicious breakfast of toasted bread with dulce de leche y banana and a mix of vanilla and strawberry yogurt.  Que deliciosa!

After breakfast I met Melissa and we headed to plaza Serrano to do some shopping.  I bought a bag to carry my school stuff in, and then we just walked around the area, then down Avenida Santa Fe stopping at random stores to look around.  Interestingly at one of the little stands I asked a woman a question and she asked me if I spoke English or Portuguese, it was pretty strange, but apparently I sound like I could be from Brazil.  I found a librería with tonssss of old books that was a really cool place to browse through.  

We stopped at Freddo and I got my first helado (ice cream)!  It was sooooo good.  I opted for dulce de leche con brownie, and it was magnificent.  It’s different here, as they give you a spoon to eat your ice cream with even if you get a cone (I guess it’s similar to how they pour bottled drink into glasses, or drink from straws in a bottle).  

It was around 5:30PM and we still had a long time to wait until we could eat dinner so we decided to go see a movie.  We walked to the theatre by Melissa’s house and bought tickets for “Loco y Esupido Amor” (Crazy Stupid Love).  It was hilarious and I highly recommend you all see it!  A little side note for all of you, when you buy movie tickets in Argentina they assign you a seat.   They ask you if a certain seat is ok, and then you have to sit there.
Outside the movie theater

After the movie we stopped at Melissa’s apartment so she could pick up some cash and then we took the colectivo to my neighborhood.  We went to Xalapa, un restaurante Mexicana.  Unfortunately they told us they weren’t open for another 15 minutes (it was 8:15) so we walked around the area and went into a little bookstore to kill some time.  I looked at some cool cookbooks, but I resisted the urge to buy anything.
We headed back to the restaurant at 8:30PM, and we were seated right away as there were only a few other people in the entire restaurant.  After examining the menu and chowing down on some very interesting chips and salsa we ordered queso con chorizo to split, and I got a margarita ($18 pesos - $4.50) and chilaquiles ($40 pesos - $10) and Melissa got enchiladas suizas (chicken enchiladas with red sauce and cheese).  

Argentine interpretation of salsa...

Queso con chorizo


Enchiladas suizas

Everything was very good, although could have used a lot more spice.  Melissa and I both agreed that the salsa roja was more like a tomato sauce than something you would expect at a Mexican restaurant, but it was still good.  By the time we were finished and paid the bill it was around 11:30PM.  Melissa had to get up early the next morning so we headed home. 

When I got back Clarisa was eating dinner, so I talked with her por un rato and then went to bed.

Domingo 7 de agosto
I got up and had some cereal, (honey grahms, which was a Quaker cereal that tasted a lot like golden grahms) a kiwi and some hot tea.  Then I headed to Julie’s to meet her and Melissa.  We were originally going to go shopping because Julie wants to buy some boots, but then I remembered that basically everything is closed on Sunday here, so we decided to go to a museum instead.  Clarisa has been telling me about this really nice museum  called MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires), so we decided to go there. 

Melissa and Julie wanted to get coffee so we stopped at a café.  I got a submarino (they bring you a glass of steamed milk, and a chocolate bar, and you put the chocolate bar in the milk and it makes hot chocolate – delicious!) and a medialuna.
Media luna

Fresh OJ


add chocolate bar


stir some more


Chocolatey goodness

When we were done we pulled out the Guia T and I figured out how to get to MALBA.  It was fairly close so we decided to walk (anytime I can walk rather than taking public transportation is great as I can’t get over how crowded and dirty the colectivos and subtes feel).  We arrived at the museum, it was in a very pretty part of the city.

Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

We went in and pair our admission ($22 pesos - $5.50, if we go back in the future we should be able to get the student price as we’ll have our ID cards by then so admission will only be $11 pesos) and looked around the museum.  I took these photos before I realized we weren’t allowed to take pictures… oops
This is a sculpture made of straws

Here are some of the pictures and artists I really liked:
Fabian Burgos, it looked like it was moving

Roberto Matta

Ricardo Garabito - this isn't the picture I liked the most but I couldn't find that one online, it was a green apple on a gray backdrop.  I liked most of his pictures though.

Marcelo Pombo
Guillermo Giambiagi - There were a ton of really awesome photos by him

Graciela Hasper
We also got to see a Frida Kahlo and a Diego Rivera which was really neat.  My favorite thing though was called "Galaxia Sombrero" por Daniel Joglar.  I tried to find a picture of it,  but alas google let me down.  It was this really good spinning mobile made of what looked like bouncy balls that were all really brightly colored, it was really awesome!

We were in the museum for quite some time, as it is a very large museum, and had a ton of cool things to look at.  After we finished we walked around the city some more and tried to find a restaurant to each lunch at.  We came across the zoo, which we decided we will visit some weekend in the future and a lot of very lovely parks where we want to picnic at some point.

We didn’t find any restaurants for quite some time and ended up eating at a café close to my house.  We got tostadas de jamón, queso y tomate (basically grilled ham and cheese).

After lunch Julie went home and I took Melissa back to the bookstore from yesterday so she could buy books for school, then I went home and talked with Clarisa before she went out for a little.  I did some reading, skyped and waited for Clarisa to come home for dinner.

Since it’s Sunday we had leftovers, so I got to have some more of the fish, potato, veggie stew that was really good.  After dinner Clarisa and I had some orange liquor that her friend made, it was very sweet and tasted just like fresh squeezed orange juice, but with a very strong kick of alcohol.  Clarisa started watching a program on this guy who used to be a news anchor and then became a yoga instructor and very spiritual guy.  I made some mint tea and then went upstairs to take a shower and get ready for bed.

This week the rest of my classes start so I’ll be extremely busy “shopping” for different classes and trying to figure out which classes will be the best.  I’m glad we get this shopping period but at the same time the week is going to be VERY hectic.  Check back soon, as I’ll be sure to update you all on my classes and all the delicious food I’m eating! I know all of you probably think that’s all I’m doing but it’s not, I promise...

Un beso,

Random Photo:
Store front sign I really like
"Todo es posible, solo basta desearlo con el corazon" 

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